Coffee-brewing heritage of Baha’s mountain-grown Shadawi bean

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: In Baha’s Tihama area, the Shada Al-Asfal and Shada Al-Ala mountains harbor a prized agricultural heritage — the Shadawi coffee, a variety that thrives in the area’s distinct microclimate, producing beans renowned for their exceptional flavor profile.

The legacy of Shadawi coffee is as rich as its exceptional flavor and taste. A recent Saudi Press Agency report notes that the coffee demands meticulous care throughout its growth cycle, earning it a reputation as one of the most challenging crops to cultivate.




For the people of the Shada mountains, cultivating this rare, flavorful coffee is a commitment to preserving a centuries-old coffee-farming tradition. (SPA)

Historically, a single mountain’s yield ranged from 600 to 1,000 mudd — a traditional unit of measurement where one mudd is equivalent to 750 milliliters.

This was transported by pack animals to regional authorities as tribute.




For the people of the Shada mountains, cultivating this rare, flavorful coffee is a commitment to preserving a centuries-old coffee-farming tradition. (SPA)

In an interview with the SPA, Abdullah Al-Ghamdi, a Shada coffee farmer, detailed the intricate cultivation process: “Our coffee’s journey spans three years, starting in late summer. We harvest at the beginning of summer in the fourth year.”

The post-harvest process is equally precise, said Al-Ghamdi. “After picking, we dry and sort the cherries, then sun-dry them on rooftops for three days. Next, we store them indoors for two days before returning them to the rooftops for another five days.”




For the people of the Shada mountains, cultivating this rare, flavorful coffee is a commitment to preserving a centuries-old coffee-farming tradition. (SPA)

This careful process transforms the beans from red to black, concentrating flavors as moisture evaporates.

Traditional grinding methods involve using millstones, with some farmers employing specially designed equipment. The final step separates the husk from the bean, allowing for customized sales based on customer preferences.

For the people of the Shada mountains, cultivating this rare, flavorful coffee is more than agriculture — it is a commitment to preserving a centuries-old Arab coffee-farming tradition.

 

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